HIDALGO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested a woman from Pasadena for allegedly attempting to smuggle a Mexican-born infant into the United States.
The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when a female United States citizen, age 30, from Pasadena arrived at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge pedestrian lanes. The woman claimed to be a United States citizen and presented a State of Texas identification card for herself and a U.S. birth certificate for a four-month old male infant, who she claimed was her son. A CBP officer referred them for further inspection and document review. Officers discovered that the infant was not related to the woman but was in fact a citizen and national of Mexico without any valid documents to legally enter or reside in the United States.
CBP-OFO officers arrested the woman and she will be incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. federal magistrate on criminal charges for allegedly violating U.S. immigration law. The infant was released to the biological mother who arrived at the international bridge and both returned back to Mexico.
"Our officers have thwarted yet another failed child/infant smuggling attempt and the innocent infant has been reunited with his mother, thus staying out of possible harm's way," said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. "We will arrest all smugglers who are involved in these illicit activities and by working in coordination with the U.S. Attorney's Office, prosecution will be sought to the fullest extent of the law."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.